After a Two-Year Hiatus, Notting Hill Carnival Returns in Style

Every year since 1966, on the last weekend of August, revelers from across the U.K. have gathered on the streets of London’s Notting Hill neighborhood to celebrate the rich diversity of British Caribbean culture—whether through the parade of dancers and drummers decked out in kaleidoscopic outfits, the floats carrying steel bands and enormous sculptures, or the strains of reggae, dancehall, and Afrobeats from sound systems set up all around the area to encourage all-day dancing. (And that’s without even mentioning the incredible street food on offer, from the carnival staple of jerk chicken with rice and peas to fresh coconut water and the ubiquitous Red Stripe beers.)

There have been many challenges to Notting Hill Carnival over the decades (gentrification, clashes with police, and one-sided media coverage of the event, to name just a few), but the past two years saw its biggest crisis yet, as the event was forced to take an extended hiatus due to COVID. This past weekend, however, the largest street party in Europe—attracting up to 2 million attendees every year—returned in style: bigger, bolder, and brighter than ever. 

Photographer Adama Jalloh was on hand to capture all the pageantry and finery of the carnival for Vogue—see her view of the weekend here.

Photographed by Adama Jalloh

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